Summertime is time for sun, swimming and sports. Here are some tips from John Marcucci, M.D., medical director of emergency medicine on the medical staff at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano, on how to safely enjoy the season.
Beat the heat. Heat exhaustion and heatstroke can strike when you exert yourself in hot weather. Drink plenty of water, watch for heat alerts, try to exercise in the early morning, and keep a close eye on children and seniors, who can overheat quickly. Heatstroke is a medical emergency that needs expert attention right away.
Block those rays. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, and limit your exposure to the sun when it?s at its strongest?between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember that you may need sunscreen underneath summer-weight, light-colored clothing.
Block those rays, Part 2. Don?t forget to protect your eyes. Choose sunglasses that are labeled for UV protection. Sunglasses that don?t protect against UV rays may actually cause more harm than not wearing sunglasses at all.
Banish bugs. While bugs can spread disease, it?s the nuisance and itch that?s more likely to be a problem. Sprays can keep them away. There?s no need to visit the emergency room if a mosquito bites you, unless you develop a fever or a change in behavior or mental status.
Prepare Food Properly. Eating outdoors is a summertime treat, but be sure to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. If you can?t chill leftovers properly, it?s better to throw them away. And wash your hands before preparing food to cut down on the number of germs that could multiply.
Lock out the little ones. Make sure that there?s no way for children to get into a pool area without an adult?s help. And never leave kids unattended by the pool.
Remember, if you?re faced with a true emergency, never hesitate to call 9-1-1.